Just outside of Lincoln, on an unassuming road, in the Southeast part of Nebraska, you’ll find a big pyramid-shaped object next to a sideways zigzag protruding from the ground. This is the world’s largest time capsule. And you won’t believe what’s inside!
The late Harold Keith Davisson (1907-1999), a local writer, store owner, and historian, built the time capsule in 1975. It was sealed and dedicated on July 4, 1975 and is set to be opened 50 years later on July 4, 2025.
It’s only appropriate that both the dedication and future unveiling happen on Independence Day, as Seward is known as Nebraska’s Fourth of July City, and hosts an extravaganza every year, complete with live entertainment, a grand parade, a car show, a fireworks display, and more.
Davisson buried the giant time capsule in front of House of Davisson Furniture, his home furnishings and appliances store, in order to show his grandchildren what life and the world was like at the time.
The capsule weighs in at 45-tons and the concrete structure measures 20 x 8 x 6-feet. In 1977, the Guinness Book of World Records certified the time capsule as the largest in the world. But this was met with controversy and protest. Oglethorpe University in Georgia disputed the record, claiming that they actually had the world’s largest time capsule, the “Crypt of Civilization.” While theirs was more of a crypt, with a single room on campus sealed off, Davisson wasn’t to be outdone, so, in 1983, he topped the original with a second piece: a giant concrete pyramid.
So what is inside the world’s largest time capsule? It’s said that over 5,000 items are buried within, including a Kawasaki motorcycle, a leisure suit, bikini bottoms, letters from local parents, soda bottles, tapes, records, bowling pins, fireworks, and a scholarship fund.
The pièce de résistance, though are the two cars: a brand new (well, at the time) Chevy Vega buried in the original plot and another used vehicle, either a 1975 Datsun or Toyota, that was added with the tomb addition in 1983.
2025 will be here before we know it, and the grand unveiling is set to happen during Seward’s Fourth of July celebration that year. I can’t wait to see what they find when the big time capsule is finally opened 50 years after it was buried!
In the meantime, stop by this Nebraska roadside attraction on your road trip to see the World’s Largest Porch Swing, the World’s Largest Covered Wagon, or Carhenge.
World’s Largest Time Capsule
Address: 318 Hillcrest Dr, Seward, NE 68434
Hours: Always Visible
Cost: Free to See
To be Opened: July 4, 2025